Technical failure postpones Auvere Power Plant returning to service

Auvere Power Plant.
Auvere Power Plant. Source: Eesti Energia

CEO of Enefit Power Andres Vainola said that even though the Auvere Power Plant was supposed to come back online this week, more repair work means the oil shale plant will not be fired up yet.

Vainola said that service and repair volumes have grown and that delays mean Estonia's most modern oil shale power generation facility will be fired up again next week.

"That's technology for you. These delays of a few days are bound to happen. Look if only at Unit 3 of the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant [in Finland], how often its launch has been postponed and the things that have happened," the executive added.

Vainola said that Auvere returning to service will not deliver the anticipated reduction in the market price of electricity. "The average price has remained the same in the entire Baltic and Finnish region, which makes for a major market. Therefore, it will rather not [bring the price down]. Warmer and windier weather has benefited us. We are well-prepared for the winter, but there has been considerable demand for our output," Vainola said, adding that if Enefit Power generated 2.9 terwatt-hours of power over the first ten months of last year, the figure for this year is already at 4.2 TWh.

"Demand is up mainly because the high market price of gas has kept gas-fired power plants off the market. However, this has had little effect on the market price," he suggested.

While the Auvere plant allows wood chips and other fuels to be mixed with oil shale, Vainola refused to say what the company will be using as fuel, giving business secrets as the reason.

Eesti Energia's oil shale power subsidiary Enefit Power wants the Competition Authority to hike Estonia's universal electricity price. "Today's universal service price does not cover our production cost. We just sent the watchdog new data a few days ago. Unfortunately, the process has dragged on, while I remain hopeful," the CEO said.

The universal price of electricity currently stands at 19.24 cents per kilowatt-hour, which Estonia's heating season benefit lowers to 13,24 cents/kWh.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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